Drawbridge Operator

Control railroads or highway drawbridges over waterways.
picture of Drawbridge Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$24,000 – $57,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Drawbridge Operators do?

Controls railroad or highway drawbridge over waterways to permit passage of vessels: Observes approaching vessels and listens for whistle signal from vessel indicating desire to pass. Moves levers that activate traffic signals and alarms, lower gates to halt street traffic, or activate interlocking railroad signals to warn oncoming railroad trains. Starts motors of drawbridge and moves levers to raise or turn drawbridge, giving vessels passage. Signals vessels to pass through opening. Inspects drawbridge and auxiliary equipment. Cleans, oils, and greases machinery. Writes and submits maintenance work requisitions. Prepares reports of accidents occurring on or to bridge. Records name of vessels passing and number of trains or vehicles crossing bridge. May relay messages to vessels in waterway. May make repairs and adjustments to drawbridge. May be required to hold Railway Signalman Certificate or similar license.


Should I be a Drawbridge Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Draw Operator

    How to become a Drawbridge Operator

    Most Drawbridge Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9haaaa&chl=no+college+%2889%25%29|certificate+%2811%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,89,89
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